Seriously, what happened to Syracuse football? This might seem like an odd thing to talk about after a big win over Central Michigan, but beating a Mid-Atlantic Conference team does not override the larger issues here for Syracuse.
The Orange find themselves in the midst of another season where a bowl game is far from a guarantee, and most likely would be a surprise after the loss to Middle Tennessee State.
This is not how it used to be. This was a dominant program. One that took bowl games for granted. From 1987 to 2001, Syracuse didn’t have a losing season. It went to 12 bowl games, winning nine of them.
The Carrier Dome was always full. The lowest average attendance at “The Loud House” had during that span was in 2001 with 41,000.
But I guess that was all before the turn of the century. Since 2002, the Orange has had just three winning seasons. It has been to four bowl games, winning three of them. The team’s record from 2002 to 2016 is 69-113.
15 plus years of inconsistency and frequent disappointment have led to where Syracuse finds itself now, trying to refresh the program.
The Orange has suffered three straight losing seasons heading into this one. Unless ‘Cuse pulls off some major upsets and starts winning road conference games, this will likely be a fourth.
Things have gotten even worse in recent years as fans have taken notice. 2015 was the worst attendance average ever in the Carrier Dome since it opened in 1980. 2016 improved to become the second worst attendance average ahead of only the previous year. 2017 has the Orange on pace to beat the 2015 low and set a new record low.
Being inside the Dome does not have the same meaning. The atmosphere is dead. And nothing Syracuse is doing at the moment will change that.
The saying, “If you build it, they will come,” definitely holds some weight with the current status of Syracuse football.
But, head coach Dino Babers is not sure that he wants to stay. He alluded to staying for a few years before moving on during his post game after beating Central Michigan.
If you can’t even convince the coach to stay, there is no chance to build something for fans to rally around.
Joining the ACC has made it difficult for Syracuse to continue to compete because the bottom half of the conference is still strong. That doesn’t excuse losing to teams outside the Power 5 at home though.
It might be “Our House,” but it’s not “The Loud House” anymore.